Fun Sunday Readings with Beauty Tips

It’s a really warm winter Sunday today but I am still under a comfy blanket on my couch on a Sunday morning, relaxed and cheerful!

Here are some posts that I actually read through instead of glancing over the titles and images and I hope you will enjoy these too 🙂

  • Is Gigi Hadid’s style actually “good”? The comments under this post are fun. I like it when someone said Gigi simply has a baby face on a hot body. So true!
  • A model life – the 31-year-old super  model is back to work three months after her 2nd child is born. She values hard work and seems to have issues with people who rise to fame so easily and quickly (wondering which models/celebs she was thinking of). She seems goofy and happy in the video after the article.
  • Luxury scented candles – looking for something on the higher end but not the everyone-is-talking-about Diptyque or Jo Malone?

 

Skincare & Makeup tips I learned recently:

  • How to look younger: open up your eyes with glimmery shadow, eyelash curler (I recently bought this Kevyn Aucoin eyelash curler and it works great!), and the blackest mascara (blackest brings out the clearness of your eyes). Nude or matte lip colors make skin look dull. Instead, go with something brighter and rosier.

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  • These seemingly “healthy” food can be tricky for your body and skin: Grapes (too high in sugar), Nuts (yes they have good fat but they are trigger food that makes it hard to stop eating once you started), pre-made green juice (make your own instead so you can control the sugar in-take). Sugar is evil 😦

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  • I often have small red bumps on my forehead near my hair line, and they are most likely caused by sweat. “Sweat is made up of salt and enzymes, which are irritating if left on your skin for a long time.” I think it’s worse after a work-out or wearing a thick wool hat for too long. I guess I will have to keep a thermal spring water spray (I currently use this one from La Roche-Posay at home) in my office and wipe off sweat from my forehead more often.

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  • Are you troubled by hair loss? I have been since a few years ago and I recently learned that it might be related to the water quality. I have replaced my showerhead with a filter showerhead (I get the T3 source showerhead filter) and I love it! It’s not a cheap showerhead but I feel I can justify the purchase considering how much money I’ve spent trying out different shampoos, hair masks and conditioners to tackle hair loss.

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Here is a mini review of some of the “best-selling” hair products. Unfortunately, most of these are bummers for me.

  • I didn’t like the Aveda Invati line for hair loss at all – everything smells and feels like mud…
  • I am not impressed by Neutrogena anti-residue shampoo – it doesn’t make my scalp feel clean
  • The Bodyshop ginger shampoo makes dandruff issue worse ugh…
  • My current favorite: the French brand that a lot of celebrities stand by its results Leonor Greyl Shampoo au Miel. It’s not cheap so I usually restock it when it’s on sale with department store beauty event.

Shampooing-au-Miel-leonor-greyl

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How packaging ruined these products – featuring Ahava & EOS

To me, one of the reasons that makes beauty purchases fun is the product packaging. I always get excited when I receive new products and open them for the first time. That’s probably why unboxing videos are so hot on YouTube.

In this post I wanted to share some bad experience with the products listed below mainly caused by poor packaging. These are big NO for me and I will not buy these again.

$50 o.5 oz/15 ml

Ahava eye concentrate

The bottle felt nicely made when I first received it. The product itself feels okay. It’s on the lighter side and I can layer it with richer eye cream. I didn’t really notice any significant results for dark circles or fine lines as the other reviewers were saying after using it about 10 days. And then I started to have issues with getting the product out using the dropper. The serum just wouldn’t come out unless I place the bottle up side down and directly pour the serum out onto the back of my hand, which defeats the purpose of using the dropper bottle design. It felt awkward and unhygienic, especially when I compare it with the similar dropper bottle design of Caudalie radiance serum that I was using at the same time. The latter worked fine until the last few drops and the bottle felt much more expensive and well made. I started to use it as a face and neck serum after the dropper issue as I am not able to get the right amount of product out and the serum started to get stuck around the bottle neck now I have to pour it out every time. I will not buy it again.

$40 3.4 oz/100 ml

Ahava dry oil body mist

Ahava dry oil body mist

This is the first time I tried dry oil products and I have to say I’m impressed with how fast it gets absorbed into your skin. It provides the instant moisturizing effect without making your skin feels oily. I used it on my legs and arms after shower and I liked it at first place until the mist spray stopped working ugh… So i had to pour it out into another empty bottle I bought just for this product and used it from there. One of the other cons that I agree with some other reviewers is that the moisturizing effect doesn’t last too long but it’s less of a concern as compared with the packaging issue.

I actually like some other Ahava products like its hibiscus & fig cream body wash and the purifying mud mask. But based on the experience above with the two more expensive products, I think I will stick to their basic offerings as their bottle packaging are of poor quality and seems to suggest that these are failed attempts to match their products’ look & feel to more expensive lines in essence.

$1.99 1.5 oz

EOS hand lotion

First, for a $2 product, I am not complaining much about this cute little hand lotion that’s 97% natural, lightweight yet moisturizing, good for carrying around, and has a nice smell. It was a surprisingly delightful product for me when i first started to use it. However, no that I almost used up the first bottle/jar, I’ve found one issue with its packaging. One of my pet peeves is that I’d like to use up the entire bottle/jar and then throw it into my empty skincare box for later review. With this hand lotion, as you have to squeeze the flat bottle to get the lotion out, you will not be able to get the final 1/4 of the lotion out unless you are okay with squeezing so hard that the cream will burst out into every direction in the air but not your hand “_”.

EOS is good at design but sometimes I feel they may have forgotten or de-prioritized  functionality in its products. For example, I was never a fan of their popular EOS lip balm. Despite its cute design and formula, it is not moisturizing, doesn’t feel natural, and the big oval bump makes it less hygienic to use overtime.

Overall, I think this lotion is much better than the lip balm and is totally worth the price if you don’t care about the tiny packaging issue. I may still buy it as I go through hand cream like crazy in the winter time. I usually open up 3-4 at the same time at home (kitchen, living room, bedroom, etc.), one in my bag and one in the office to keep my hands soft and moisturized.

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah (Book Review)

Emotional read! Love it

My Bookshelf Dialogues

The NightingaleThe Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What this book is about:

Vianne and Antoinne live with their daughter Sophie just outside of Paris in a suburban town called Carriveau. Isabelle is Vianne’s younger sister. She is only 18 and already a rebel and a force of nature. When war is at France’s doorstep, Antoinne is called to the front and leaves Vianne and his daughter behind with Isabelle whose father didn’t want her to stay with him anymore. Now these two sisters have to find a way to survive in Nazi occupied France when things keep going from bad to worse. When your life is in danger every minute of every day what are you willing to do to survive?

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Steps I followed after finishing The Nightingale at 3:00 in the morning:
1. Take a few deep breaths and try to recover from the heavy…

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Kiko haul and mini review – unlimited foundation, double glam eyeliner, eyeliner pencils and brow pencil & color swatch 

Update on 2/21:

  • The brow pencil has become my favorite! It is highly pigmented, fills up my brow shape instantly and is surprisingly long lasting, yet easily to wash away using any makeup remover products. The highlighter end is easy to use too for my brow arch but needs some blending.
  • The highlighter end on the double glam eyeliner accentuates the dry areas under my eyes and I will not be using it. The dark brown end is great! I have been using it every day. It’s easy to glide on, very pigmented, doesn’t smudge as long as you apply primer beforehand and also lasts at least 10-12 hours.

There is a Kiko store not far from where I live but I’ve never actually visited it before. I recently came across some good reviews of their products and decided to give it a try. It’s an Italian drugstore makeup brand as far as I know and their products are very affordable yet have better than average quality as I heard.

There was a promotion going on in the store and I couldn’t believe how many you can get for less than $20 – well see for my shopping haul below.



Kiko unlimited foundation SPF 15 

Color: warm beige 15
The foundation has good reviews and is on the liquid side which is easy to apply. I chose the warm beige color which suits fair skin with yellow undertone. I don’t think this will work well for dry skin by how it spreads over my hand towards the knuckles. But it does provide pretty solid coverage. You can see how my two hands look differently with and without the foundation. I don’t know how long it lasts yet but it’s supposed to be relatively long lasting. One thing I don’t like about it is its pump which seems a bit hard to control the amount of foundation coming out.

The one on the right is with the foundation. 

Kiko double glam eye liner

Color 117 golden rose

I think this is a really convenient product. I like how the shimmer is not too strong yet definitely helps accentuate your eyes. The shimmer in this color is a light pinkish tone which I also like better than white highlighter color.


The eyebrow shape and highlighter duo

Sorry I couldn’t find it online but you can see how it looks like and the color swatch in my photos below. Hope this helps!

 

  
Lastly, as I was trying out the different products in store, I found the eye and lip makeup remover to be delightful. It takes off the eyeliner colors with one simple wipe and doesn’t feel oily either. I didn’t get it as I have a few makeup removers at home but I think this one works better than the popular Neutrogena eye and lip makeup remover at a similar price tag.

Have you tried Kiko? What do you think?

And Happy Valentine’s day ❤️

Skincare empties and new shopping haul 

I love empty skincare bottles! That means I have not only used up every drop of it (well sort of 🙂 but also that the product must have worked for me or I wouldn’t have continued using it for a few months. Here are the two that I’ve used up recently: a) the Caudalie brightening serum; b) Bobbie Brown vitamin based face cream


I enjoyed using both of them and I will repurchase. They work well on my combination skin as they are hydrating enough but not oily at all. They are also easily absorbed and both smell fruity (grape and citrus respectively).

I didn’t notice significant brightening effect from the Caudalie serum but it’s a pleasant and moisturizing serum.

The Bobbie brown cream lasts FOREVER. Due to its creamy texture, you only need a tiny bit for the entire face. Yet it’s not oily and works well under makeup.


Today I also received two packages from Feelunique and Sephora. I was delighted by the packaging from products in both boxes. I got a DreamWorks set, a Blanx toothpaste, a mini manicure kit, and a Josie Moran argan oil set, and I am looking forward to trying all!